Lawrence Busker Festival to return for the long weekend

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A beloved celebration of street performers returns to downtown Lawrence this weekend. The Busker Festival will bring dance, art, music, magic, acrobatics and much more to Mass Street and beyond.

The fun begins around 5 p.m. Friday, May 26 and continues in the afternoon and evening each day Saturday through Monday, May 27-29. Acts will span one block of Eighth Street east and west of Massachusetts Street, and the 800 and northern 900 blocks of Mass Street. There will be fun at the Lawrence Arts Center at 940 New Hampshire St. as well.

“This event has become a staple in the community, and we are proud to continue to provide a platform for street performers from around the world to showcase their talents,” longtime festival organizer Richard Renner said in a news release from eXplore Lawrence.

Some fan favorites, including Tic and Tac, the New York Breakdancers, Tricks of the Light, Voler Thieves of Flight and Pogo Fred will return.

The show also features some performers from abroad who will make their first appearances at the Busker Festival this year. Those include the following, according to the release:

• “Mat Ricardo is an Englishman who practices the gentlemanly art of juggling, object manipulation, and magic. He is rarely seen outside of his formal dress attire, even when performing in the streets. It is the first time he will be bringing his well-mannered show of circus skills to the Lawrence Busker Festival.

• “Lisa Lottie has made an international name for herself on the variety show circuit in Europe and Australia. In the States, she is known for her TED Talk, where she explains why she chose to be a busker over a baker. In her show, she takes the skill of hula hooping to extremes by using not one but over a dozen at a time. This is also her first time at the festival.

• “Reuben Dotdotdot has the distinction of being a star of the Cirque Du Soleil show Saltimbanco. He will be replicating that act of flexibility and skill in contortion and hand balancing for the first time on the streets of Lawrence this year.”

In addition to the performances, the festival will also feature food vendors, a beer garden, and activities for kids, according to the release.

No tickets are required and the shows are free to watch, but contributions help performers put food on their tables.

Find a full schedule of performers and where they’ll be at lawrencebuskerfest.com.

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